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Man Sentenced to Prison For Transportation Of Child Sex Abuse Images Aboard International Cruise Ship

U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton has sentenced Christopher Michael Ratten (32, Stafford, VA) to seven years in federal prison for transportation of child sex abuse images. Ratten had pleaded guilty on October 17, 2022.

According to court documents, on September 4, 2021, Ratten flew from Washington, D.C. to Florida. He then traveled to Port Canaveral where he boarded a commercial cruise ship. The cruise made stops in the Bahamas before returning to Port Canaveral on September 9, 2021. Upon Ratten’s reentry to the United States, an agent from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted a border search of Ratten’s cellphone and located child sex abuse images on the phone. Further forensic investigation revealed that Ratten had more than 4,500 images and videos of child sex abuse on his phone, a number of which depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers and bestiality. 

“This deviant fed his perversion through a vast and rapidly growing collection of explicit images and videos of children and animals being sexually abused,” said Homeland Security Investigations HSI Orlando Assistant Special Agent in Charge David J. Pezzutti. “Thanks to the dedication of our partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection who initially discovered the imagery, we were able to fully investigate and prosecute this predator’s abhorrent behavior.”

This case was investigated by HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Daniels.

Read more at the Department of Justice

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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